Module Identifier PH12020  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Shadia R Habbal  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Professor Shadia R Habbal  
Pre-Requisite Normal entry requirements for Part 1 Physics  
Co-Requisite Part 1 core modules  
Course delivery Practical   Incorporated into PH15010 and PH15510  
  Lecture   36 Lectures  
  Other   Workshop. 4 Example Classes  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours end of semester examination  70%
Semester Assessment Course Work: Example Sheets 11,12,13,14,15,16,18 & 20 Deadlines are detailed in the Year 1 Example Sheets Schedule distributed by the Department 30%

Learning outcomes

After taking this module students should be able to:

Brief description

Classical Physics describes the macroscopic world of electricity, magnetism, mechanics, optics, heat and sound, the knowledge of which underpins much of today's engineering and technology. The origins of classical physics, though, lie in the microscopic world of electrons, atoms and molecules and many phenomena at this level can be inferred at least qualitatively from classical ideas. Concepts like electric charge and current, electric and magnetic fields and electromagnetic induction describe the operation both of electric circuits and of dielectric and magnetic materials. Together with the ideas of mass, displacement, restoring force and friction, potential and kinetic energy, they furnish our understanding of oscillatory and wave motion and form the basis for defining temperature, heat transfer and also the propagation of sound and light. This module concentrates on electricity, magnetism, current electricity, oscillations, heat and temperature, waves, sound and light.


Electric fields and the laws of Coulomb and Gauss applied to different geometries of electrical charge distribution. Electric potential versus electric field, equipotential surfaces, capacitors and electrical energy density. Dielectric materials.

Magnetic fields, current loops and magnetic materials. The laws of Biot-Savart and Ampere applied to electric currents in wires and solenoids. Electromagnetic induction (Faraday's Law and Lenz' Law), self inductance and magnetic energy density.   

Current Electricity:
dc current, electrical resistivity of conducting materials and batteries. ac currents in resistors, capacitors and inductors.   

Simple Harmonic Motion (period, amplitude, velocity, acceleration and energy) and its application in mechanical pendulums for measuring g and LC circuits for frequency generators. Damped and forced oscillations. Resonance in mechanical (suspension systems) and electrical systems (LCR circuits).   

Heat and Temperature:
Oscillations in molecules, energy, temperature, thermal expansion and thermal conductivity. Thermometers and the ideal gas temperature scale. Thermal equilibrium versus heat transfer and the Zeroth law of Thermodynamics. Thermal materials.   

Wave Motion:
Travelling waves and the wave equation (wavelength, frequency, phase velocity). Superposition of waves, interference and standing waves (e.g. in water). Dispersion, wave packets and group velocity. Doppler Effect in sound waves and light.   

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
P.A. Tippler Physics for Scientists and Engineers W. H. Freeman 1999 1-57259-673-2


This module is at CQFW Level 4